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20130211
20130211
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on "andrea mitchell reports" live pictures from vatican city. where pope benedict xvi shocked the world today and some of his closest advisors announcing he will step down as the leader of the 1.2 billion roman catholics at the end of this month. he will be the first pontiff to abductate in 719 years. >> today signing a lack of strength. the pope said i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted me. reactions are pouring in. >> i think pope benedict xvi legacy is his engagement of faith with the modern world. >> i feel particular -- a particular bond with him and a note of sadness, to be honest with you. on the other hand, my appreciation for him, which was already high, is enhanced a bit because with the sense of realism that he has such an esteem for the office of the successor of st. peter, which is what the pope sshg the bishop of rome, the successor of st. peter, he says, you know, i may not be up to it now, and perhaps i can best serve jesus and his church and his people by stepping aside. i have to admire him. >> and here at home one day ahead of p
. joining me now is ann thompson, lee at st. patrick's cathedral in new york city, of course, and nbc vatican analyst george weigel is here with me, and we begin with claudio. you were shocked by this. people in st. peter's square didn't even know that it was happening. tell us what happened. >> no, they didn't, andrea. we came around here after the shocking news, and all the cameras came down, and what the tourists saw is what's going on. everybody was just wandering around st. peter's square like it was a normal day, of course, and when we told them that the pope was abdicating they were shocked. they couldn't even -- they didn't even know that a pope could abdicate, as a matter of fact. in a way money knew in a way because the last pope that did that was about 700 years ago. it was in 1294. it seemed like it was impossible in modern times, but pope benedict xvi hinted that in 2010 and a mof times after that that if he felt that his strength wasn't such that he could carry on the very important duties of a pope, that he would think about it at least, but nobody saw that coming. this
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